Multi Stage Fitness Test (MSFT) practice for police officer recruits

​​​​​​​To ensure you are fit enough to be a police officer, you will undertake a fitness test. There are two elements to the test and you must pass both before you can be appointed.

​​We are looking for the minimum standard to demonstrate you will be able to work effectively as a police officer.

​​If you don't pass the test at your first attempt you will be allowed to re-take it. However, if you fail the test after three attempts your application will be halted and you will not be eligible to re-apply for six months.

​​Once you are appointed you will need to maintain your fitness and you will be regularly assessed during probation.

​​​​How to use the Multi Stage Fitness Test recording

The recording at the below links will help you to gauge your endurance fitness level, which you can use to determine your readiness to take the test and as a baseline for maintaining and improving your fitness.

You need to find a 15 metre track - this could be at a local sports hall or running track.​​

​​While listening to the Multi Stage Fitness Test recording you should run to and fro along the 15 metre track in time with the bleeps. If you arrive at the end line before the bleep sounds you need to wait for the bleep before resuming running and you should adjust your speed accordingly. The timing between bleeps is slow at first (the bleeps are about seven seconds apart) but they become faster as the test progresses and it will become more difficult to keep up with the required speed. 

​​You should run to your optimum level without reaching exhaustion. You will need to reach a minimum of four shuttles at level 5 to pass the recruitment test.

​You should not use the Multi Stage Fitness Test to train - it should only be used periodically to assess progress.


Here are some tips to help you train for your fitness test.

  • ​Try to train as much as possible with friends as this will make your exercise programme a more enjoyable and safer activity.
  • ​Try to monitor your progress by recording times taken, distances covered and recovery times. This will give you feedback on improvements and will give you an incentive to continue training.
  • Set yourself targets that can be realistically achieved. This will help motivate you.
  • ​Do not overdo your training. Start gently and build up gradually over a period of weeks or months.
  • ​Try to spread fitness sessions out rather than playing squash, weight training and swimming all in one day and then doing nothing else for the rest of the week.


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